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February 2024 Principal Message

Dear Elms Family,

We have had a busy Winter season here at Elms! We hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying all of the fun events and experiences Winter has to offer!

 Celebrating Success:

Congratulations to the Elms 2023 - 2024 Educators of the Year, Melissa Zecca and Jackie Burnside.  Ms. Zecca, first grade teacher, and Ms. Burnside, paraprofessional, are excellent educators whose compassion and commitment to education is to be applauded. In addition to being phenomenal assets to the Elms educational program, they go above and beyond to enhance the overall school experience.  Directing the Science Club, making connections in childcare, spearheading fundraisers, volunteering for family nights, and supporting colleagues are just some of the ways that Ms. Zecca and Ms. Burnside make Elms a special place.  Congratulations again to our amazing educators of the year!!  You make Elms proud!

Spelling Bee :

Elms Elementary held their annual Spelling Bee on February 2. All of our participants won the chance to compete at the school spelling bee by achieving at the classroom level.  Each contestant did a wonderful job. Their hard work and mastery of the English language was evident throughout the competition.  Congratulations to all of our participants. 

 We are proud to Congratulate Elms’ Top 5 spellers: Kiera Mann, Alex Saro, Anastasia Divgun, Alex Booktor and our #1 speller- Bilal Yasir!. 

Following the school spelling bees, the five spelling bee champions will then move on to the next level, which is the District Spelling Bee, scheduled for March 19, 2024 at 6:00pm at Jackson Liberty High School. 


Elms Peer Buddy Program:

In the month of February  Elms Peer Buddies with several of our MD students led by Ms.Fioretti, speech therapist,  went to the unveiling of a Communication Board at the Jackson Justice Complex for the special needs population. Thank you to the Jackson Elks # 2744 for this generous donation and helping all children enjoy the complex.

We would also like to recognize our Elms students, affiliated with Girl Scout Troop #53, who worked with Ms. Fioretti for their “Take Action Project”. They learned how to switch- adapt toys so children with disabilities will be able to use them easier. The Girl Scouts also donated the toys  for select students at Elms Elementary.

Green Career Day

Our Green Career Day was held on Wednesday, January 31st. This event afforded students the unique opportunity to explore environmentally focused career paths. This event aimed to inspire and inform our young minds about the diverse opportunities available in the field of sustainability and environmental conservation. Professionals from various green industries were invited to share their experiences and insights, and our students had the opportunity to engage with these professionals through interactive sessions! 

Fifth Grade Chorus Concert:

Congratulations to all members of our fifth grade chorus on a wonderful performance. This year’s theme was Elms on Broadway. The chorus performed songs such as “Be Our Guest,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Hakuna Matata,” “You Will Be Found,” and “Best Day Ever.” Thank you to our chorus director, Ms. Dabreau and to all of our performers!

 We Read Together:

At Elms Elementary, we pride ourselves on being a community of readers. In the months of December & January, Elms Kindergarteners and First Graders and their special person from home participated in a collaborative event focused around reading and early literacy development.  Family members were invited to join their child(ren) during the day to learn, and then practice, strategies and games to help support their child's literacy development. This workshop is designed with the goal to help family members learn strategies to support their young readers in fun and engaging ways at home. 

We are very proud and thankful to say we are expecting a 99% attendance rate. Thank you families for building a strong school-home team connection. Thank you, JEA, for purchasing the books and game materials requested for this event.

Intramural Basketball Showcase:

Our 2nd annual intramural basketball showcase was held on January 26th at Liberty High School. The intramural program featured fifth grade students and focused on teamwork, kindness, and basketball skills. The season culminated with our elementary schools engaging in a friendly competition during this fun event!

 Martin Luther King Jr. Day & Black History Month:

In the coming weeks, the Elms School will be joining the Jackson School District in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Teachers across grade levels will prepare lessons and activities highlighting Dr. King’s message of peace and tolerance.  We will continue studying Dr. King and spotlight other prominent historical figures during February/Black History Month.  Lessons on Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Jesse Owens, and many more are being prepared.

Daddy Daughter Dance:

Our Daddy Daughter Dance was held on Friday, February 2nd. The theme this year was The Wizard of Oz. The students and their special person dressed up and danced the night away during this wonderful event.  Thank you to our Daddy Daughter Dance Committee and all their volunteers who worked so hard and tirelessly to make this event special for the girls’ special someone.

Mom Son Night:

Our first session of Mom Son Night will be held Friday, February 9th for pre-k through 2nd grade.  The second session will be on Friday, February 23rd for grades 3rd through 5th. We hope moms and sons enjoy this fun filled PTN event.

Read Across America, Readathon & Book Fair:

This year’s Read Across America and Readathon theme is Wild About Reading. Elms prides itself in being a community of readers. Read Across America is a wonderful way to make reading exciting as we strive to achieve reading goals at Elms.   Elms teachers have a fun week of reading events for the children. We will also kick off our annual  One School One Book initiative. Additionally our second PTN book fair will be held from February 26th until March 1st to get Read Across America started.

 ELL Night:

We are proud to announce our first English Language Learner (ELL) night, which was held on Tuesday, February 6th, was very well attended. This event serves as an opportunity for our ELL families to learn about our school, our community, and the Jackson School District. Additionally, community partners will be present to help educate our families regarding some of the wonderful opportunities available in our community. Thank you to the JEA for partnering with us for this educational event!

 “Soup”er Bowl”:

Super Bowl Sunday is around the corner which means the Elms Annual “Soup”er Bowl Food Drive is underway!  Beginning January 29th and continuing through February 9th, students are asked to bring in a canned food item and place it in the corresponding barrel of the team they think will win the big game on Superbowl Sunday (February 11th).  We are proud to support our community with the “Soup”er bowl as all canned food items will be donated to a food pantry.

Cold Weather: 

Please remember during the winter months, students still do go outside for recess, weather permitting.  The building is climate controlled, but we suggest layers so that the students can be comfortable in any setting.  

  PAWS-itive Character Education:

“Everyone in society should be a role model, not only for their own self-respect, but for respect from others.” - Barry Bonds

 At Elms, we make it our  priority to recognize students for demonstrating strong and positive character.  Our character education initiatives promote, model, and recognize students that strive to make Elms a welcoming, rewarding, and safe environment.  Our PAWS-itive Program encourages students to grow and develop into upstanding Elms community members.  Elms faculty are asked to fill out PAWS-itive Behavior Coupons to acknowledge students who act as respectful, caring, trustworthy, fair, and responsible citizens in school.  The coupons are brought down to the guidance office mailbox for monthly recognition.  Students who are selected will receive a certificate, small prizes, and a group photo which will be proudly displayed in the hallway.  Our goal is to create more rewarding lives and a positive culture for our students and school.  With this initiative we can:

  • Teach children how to reach out and express love, respect, and appreciation of others


  • Help children become less self-centered and more considerate of others 


  • Create more positive home and school environments and connections

  Report Cards: 

Please be sure to access your child’s report card on the district portal website.  Report cards will be available on the portal to parents on March 25th, 2024. Also, please remember that if your Portal log-in does not work, please try the “Forgot My Password” link above BEFORE contacting support, as most issues will be resolved through that feature.  Please note that the “Forgot Password” link will work only with parents who have an email as their login ID. For questions or problems with your login ID or password (or if you do not have them), please send an email to and include your name and phone number, as well as your child’s name, school, grade, student ID number and the problem you are experiencing, and we will respond to you as quickly as possible.

Please contact the school directly if you have any questions. We will be glad to help you.


Warm Regards,


Michael Burgos, Principal           

Kevin McCann, Assistant Principal